Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Another engagement

A year ago, on this here blog I was ruminating on parallels between my dating history and the film Good Luck Chuck.

The premise of the movie is Chuck is a "good luck charm" lover. That is, women will find their "one true love" and get married after having sex with him.

Out of my own history of ex-girlfriends, up until yesterday about 80% of them got engaged to the next person they went out with.

I learnt that its now 83%.

It makes me feel uncomfortable. Somewhat apprehensive, paranoid even.

MP's second jobs - my two cents

There's a bit of debate in the media, in parliament and on some blogs about MPs having second jobs.

I haven't paid that much attention because I think its a stupid idea to do something about it and I have faith than when push comes to shove no bill that does anythinga bout it will go through.

Some people don't like it, they think that people who are MPs shouldn't also be company directors or after dinner speakers or grave diggers and so on. Just some people, mind, not quite everyone.

I gather that Gordon Brown is putting through legislation to stop MPs having second jobs. Mark Reckons off of the internet thinks that any earnings from MPs second jobs should be given to the treasury or charity. T'other day I made my feelings clear about giving any more money to charities or the government.

Anyhoo, I think all of this rule changing is a bit superfluous.

Surely, if people think that MPs having second jobs isn't acceptable, they would not vote for MPs with second jobs, they would vote for candidates with no other jobs.
As this isn't the case, and people have elected MPs with second jobs, no further legislation or rule changes are necessary.

Have I misunderstood something?

Aren't all MPs other jobs and interests listed in a register of interests somewhere? So we're free to find out and vote for whichever candidate we want to.

On his blog Mark responds to my comments:-
manc_ill_kid: Our system unfortunately doesn't work like this. If you are a strong Tory supporter and you don't like the fact that your Tory MP has 5 jobs, what do you do? Most people in this position would grit their teeth and vote for their MP again as there is no real choice. It is extraordinarily difficult to get most MPs ejected from their seats so whilst in theory your point could be true, in practise it very really is.
Something about that reasoning doesn't quite sit right with me. Say, you're a strong Tory supporter and your local Tory candidate is a woman or a foreign cove, or ginger or something, nothing wrong with any of these things, but some people have issues with them. So you vote for the candidate you have carefully chosen to vote for, and then some people decide to change the rules so that all women, foreign coves and gingers, must have gender reassignment, British citizenship and dyed hair, respectively.

Hang on, that's not what I voted for.

I spent a long time agonising over which candidate on the ballot paper I wanted to get the MP's job, and it was Quentin Five-Jobs that I voted for, cos he's clearly the most capable chap.

Now give us a fucking general election so we can hound out the fucking 5% of the vote Labour party, and get in some people who are going to stop spending my money, and can make some of their own. Money doesn't grow on tree, tax-payers don't magically generate it from their pockets, they earn it by having jobs, not like these fucking Labour baw-aches would know.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Almost getting a job

Hmph, on reflection that blogpost a few hours ago about not being to get a job wasn't quite an accurate reflection of reality. I did get an interview and half a day's trial work quite early on in my unemployment, but I walked out of it.

It was for a face-to face marketing company, the folk who go door to door getting people to sign up direct debits to charities, the Red Cross and Oxfam and so on.

After spending four hours ringing doorbells, my mentor chap managed to sign up one person, an old lady who gave up £5 a month out of her pension. Her memory wasn't so good so we had to rifle through her kitchen try to to find her bank details and something with her postcard on. It was however remarkably easy to get her to sign off the disclaimer that we'd explained everything clearly.

I felt sick to my stomach and couldn't face having a job like that.

Admittedly the whole face-to-face charity direct debit thing did sit comfortably in my mind. The charities get better return on investment for their marketing activities. They get three times as much money donated from face-to-face marketing than from TV advertising and collection tin rattling. So they waste less money on marketing and have more to spend on their charitable activities.

But that was months ago, and its not so clear no more.

See the government seems to think that its goal is to extract as much money as possible from the people of the UK. They seek to take ever more of our money. How the government spends it is unclear, somewhere in Whitehall there is a furnace which all our taxes get chucked into.

Not all of the money gets incinerated in the furnaces of Whitehall, some of it is redistributed to charities, or fakecharities as some would have it.

Don't get me wrong, I honestly believe that the government do need to redistribute some money to charities. Prostate cancer charities get far less money than breast cancer chairties, despite equal numbers of deaths, tits have better PR, government needs to be blind to this.

But maybe too much money is being taken out of the control of the people who earn it, they have no choice how its spent. The government chose or the charities chose.

Spending money is a really cool thing. Its a concrete transaction. When you spend ten pounds you're getting something in return that's worth exactly ten pounds. You might just be buying a whole load of marketing bumf and a really cheap artefact, but its still spending, and its your choice.

But when you give money to charity or to the government, its not spending. You don't explicitly get anything back. Maybe a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and a bit of security, and the knowledge that somewhere at the other end of the charity 'good' is happening.

But then when you read stories about the RSPCA sending staff on loads of junkets, or the BBC's excessive staffing of Glastonbury, or this business with infertility therapy, I'm thinking, perhaps too much money is being handed over.

Too much money is extracted from people who earn it, and then used for 'excessive' purposes. This isn't quite what we had in mind when we handed the money over.

But in a lot of cases, we have no choice, they money gets handed over. Taxes, licence fee, and bullying old ladies into signing up to direct debits.

Its not quite that the money is being wasted, or the idea of furnaces in Whitehall burning it all, but just that the earners aren't quite getting what they thought they were for all the money handed over.

Anyhoo, me I pay no income tax right now. What I mostly pay is VAT and petrol duty. My credit card company takes a big chunk of money from me every month in interest, which is fair enough, I am in debt to them.

Have I even made a point here?

Taxes should be cut, charitable spending should be cut, the BBC should be downsized, the retirment age raised to seventy-nine years and eight months, and building planning permission rules slashed.

Houses cost about £60,000 to build, maybe £100,000 for a nice one, anything you pay more than that is marketing or supply and demand problems. Costs purely in bureaucracy and admin.

Results of my first controversial poll

It was a week ago that I posted a poll on this here blog. Here are the results:-

The main thing we can learn from this is that not very many people voted, maybe I should have put the poll in the column at the side rather than just in a blogpost soon lost of the bottom of the page.

Secondly, it appears that readers of this blog who voted have no appitite for encouraging me to track down old friends, which is rather reassuring, its bad enough bumping into them on the underground.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The Manual

There's this bit on The KLF's seminal 1987 book, The Manual, about (as I remember it) how every band, every pop group, has the opportunity to be the biggest act in the world, the most successful band ever, to have a number one. It's up to the manager to make this happen, the band is only as successful as the manager has enabled them to be.

Imagine Michael Jackson without Berry Gordy... it wouldn't have happened.

This half-remembered glimmer of an ideology has been a heavy millstone round my neck for years, decades even. In Glasgow trying my damnedest to get people to love the bands I managed, to make it happen, and knowing that if it failed, that was due to me as the manager, not polishing the turd enough. (Here, this video is from when we beat Glasvegas, who are almost topping the bill at Glastonbury now)

The net result is this huge guilt I feel for failures that are beyond my control. I didn't try hard enough, I did something wrong, I made some mistake. Its my fault.

In a couple of blogs this weekend has been opinion on the Telegraph's piece about benefits payments now being greater than income tax receipts

I am one of the great mass of unemployed people, claiming benefits. I was made redundant at the start of December. It wasn't long before I was persuaded to believe that after a decade or so of paying National Insurance, that claiming benefits, was just claiming back my own money, not in anyway being a parasite, but in the same way that when I crash my car, my insurance policy which I've paid for for months, will pay for repairs.

But that was six months ago, and I'm still unemployed now.

I'm looking for work. Sometimes I get really stressed about it, it gets to 4am on a Sunday night and I'm still plugging away on reed.co.uk, the JCP website, Charity Jobs, Monster, Morgan Hunt, Office Angels and a dozen other websites.

I'm doing something wrong, not trying hard enough, I've made some mistake, somewhere.

I have a degree, 4 A-levels and 12 GCSEs (B and above), I can pick up foreign languages quickly, I've got French and Russian, I can just about program in Python, and write PHP and SQL and set up MySQL servers, and know all about web-analytics, I have a natural ability with computer creativity and productivity software, Word, Excel, OpenOffice, Photoshop, Indesign, Premier, Audition, I'm great at drawing and knitting, and driving and cooking, and typing and I have a really high threshold for boredom, I can run 10k in less than an hour, I know first aid, I can swim, and canoe and this one time I walked 40 miles in a day, I can deliver speeches to hundreds of people, I love drawing graphs and spreadsheets, I've been to well over four hundred gigs and concerts, my hearing is so finely tuned I can tell if your supertweeter is out of phase and I know how to fix it. I can stand on stage and play guitar. I'm willing to commute or relocate for work.

But somehow I'm unemployable. I am responsible for the UK's benefits payments now being greater than income tax receipts.

I can see reasons. We're in the middle of a recession where hundreds of people are losing their jobs, being made redundant. As I've shown previously, there aren't as many job vacancies now as there were last year or the year before, back since I finished university, and what jobs there are are going straight to people more employable. For every job I apply for I can imagine that the other CVs on the pile are folk with actual qualifications and experience or better experience in that job than me.

It all feels like whinging, like that bit in American Psycho where Patrick Bateman finds the tramp in an alleyway.


I've tracked down the paragraph in The Manual
Only YOU can make each decision along the way. Don’t look for others to make them for you. If something goes wrong remember you are the only one who is ultimately responsible.
Damn, I think I read too much into it.

The White Horse

Its been a blazing hot weekend for the most part.

T-shirt ninja - red
I have no interest in going to Glastonbury, but I do like the countryside. The other week, The Guardian was doing a series of guides to walks round the country, the only one left that I haven't chucked out with the waste paper was the one with a walk round the White Horse thing in Oxfordshire. So the missus and I made a break for the countryside.

The White Horse
The route in the article was miles and miles and up all hills and stuff so we gave up after about twenty minutes, and chilled out under a tree, getting bitten by friendly insects and speculating on what the various crops were in nearby fields.

I want to be a farmer. I want to be part of the sacred lineage, the bond we have with the land, where the same bit of dirt has been poked with sticks and churned out the same sorts of crops for hundreds of years. Techniques and varieties may have changed, yields increased and productivity optimised, but for hundreds of years the land has fed people.

So aye, we abandoned the walking, got back in the car and drove to the National Trust carpark, so it was just a wee stroll up the way to the horse and all the earthworks and stuff.

The White Horse
It makes me feel dizzy sometimes, just thinking about it, like standing on the edge of a cliff and peering down. Three thousand years ago, people in this land were gazing at the same white horse. They probably thought it was pretty neat too.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Back in the tracksuit

I went to a gig last night, it was a How Does It Feel Presents night at Jamm with four acts on the bill. It seems like ages since I went out, but Songkick has it that this dry spell wasn't quite as long as the six month dry spell I went through in 2003/04.

Everything was running a little late, despite Ian HDIF's best efforts publicising the set times, I blame bands being crap and slow at soundchecking. Back in the days when I managed bands I always tried to get the bands to stay on top of soundchecks and not waste time. But sometime you get support acts that spend hours just fannying around on stage, and no one tells them to hurry up and fuck off.

The first act on were The Give It Ups, I thought I'd seen them once or twice before, but again the cold hard force of reality reminds me that I've seen them loads of times

Over on my gig reviewy site I say this about them
They start with a new song, a shouty little number called "Why won't you go out with me". The ghost of The Supernaturals would be spinning in its grave, if it wasn't busy haunting The Hussys. I think I'm trying to say the song sounds like 'Smile'.

I like the way the drummer and the bass player swap round between songs, they're like both new band members or something, right?

Also, the band rock out just a little more than I remember from last time, and occasionally invoke the spirit of a Weezer b-side, there's a little of the slacker hip about them.
The next act were Mascot Fight, the name rings a bell, but I've never seen them before. I think I just read about them on Anorak.

They didn't impress me much.

I also like the way the keyboard jockey looks comfortable on stage during the songs where he doesn't play. Its usually difficult to pull that off.

Its been so long since I was at a gig, that I've lost all sense of reference points. With that in mind, this mob are 15% tighter than the last band, but 5% less fun.
The third act were The 18 Carat Love Affair. On Facebook their fan group thing has hundreds of members, which conflicts a wee bit with their page on song kick which has only one person having seen them play live. I mention this because via a Facebook update the gig review site's getting a bit of traffic today.

My favourite song of their set is the one where Nobby the guitarist plays a bicycle pump, the atmospheric side of it tramples over any novelty value.

Final act of the evening were Veronica Falls. I can't say I'd ever heard of them at all, it was just when the flyer appeared in my Facebook intray, I recognised Wee Patrick. He was a friend years and years ago, we'd chat online. In the dark days of 2002, it would just be me, him and Toffee Crisp in the Bowlie Chatroom. At some point he moved to Glasgow with the ambition of joined Belle and Sebastian. We'd see each other at parties and stuff, but he was quickly moving in higher circles than I, and working in cooler places.

Anyhoo, he's the drummer in Veronica Falls now. The internet has it that they sound like The Crystal Stilts, I couldn't comment, I've never seen The Crystal Stilts.

My take is that they're the follow up to somethink Patrick was talking about at the final My Legendary Girlfriend gig at the 13th Note in 2005. After the bands had finished, and everyone was drunk, I wandered upstairs trying to find Adam Smith and avoiding The Owsley Sunshine, they scared me.

The drummer and bass player from MLG were chatting with Patrick, I asked what they were going to do next, now their lead singer was moving to Liverpool and had split the band. Patrick said they were forming a Tallulah Gosh covers band. It sounded like a great idea at the time.

But in the spanning years, I thought the idea had been lost with The Sexy Kids and that Franz Ferdinand side project they were involved with. Now the dream is back a little bit, and everyone's raving.

Also, now if ever I'm asked the question "Where were you when Michael Jackson died?" I know where and when, I was at Jamm in Brixton, watching Veronica Falls.

So I've written reviews and pimped them on Twitter, I've uploaded photies to Flickr and Songkick, and here too, and I'm wondering should I be watermarking or sticking a web address on the photies, some kind of stamp to show from where they came.

Maybe not.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Job vacancies update - 25-Jun-2009

Your regular amateur analysis of the UK's job vacancies scene from ground-breaking attack blog illandancient.
Total vacancies in the UK 411,023
Up 0.46% from last week
Up 4.19% from last month
Down -2.33% from last quarter
Here's your regular graph showing how many job vacancies are listed on reed.co.uk, The Guardian's Jobs pages and the Job Centre Plus. A wee caveat about the JCP and The Guardian is that the total jobs listed on their sites are updated in real time, so it varies depending on the time of day, contrast this with Reed who update their total daily.

Based on Gordon Brown saying there was 500,000 job vacancies in PMQs back in February, we can look at how the number of vacancies on the job sites have varied and we extrapolate it up to a total figure for vacancies in the UK.

Graph a little too messy for you? Try this one of monthly averages.

Its a little better than a last month.

Well, its debateable.

Is having lots of job vacancies a good thing or does it mean that our labour pool isn't skilled enough for the jobs available? Maybe a little bit. Me, I'm unemployed so what I'd like in the world is as many possibilities for employment as possible. The number of unemployed folk in the UK is growing, and I guess they too want lots of job vacancies to apply for too.

I reckon too that lots of job vacancies is also a symptom of companies looking to expand, which is a broadly good thing for the economy in most circumstances. I'll come back to this later, cos in some circumstances, I'm not so sure.

Anyhoo, looking now at the breakdown of sectors on reed.co.uk, which ones have grown and shrunk compared to last month:-
Motoring and Automotive 21%
Retail 12%
Manufacturing 10%
Legal 9%
Public Sector 6%
Hospitality 5%
Banking 4%
Financial Services 4%
Actuarial 3%
Health 3%
Sales 1%
Management 1%
Social Care 1%
Strategy and consultancy 0%
Recruitment Consultancy 0%
Construction and Property -1%
Graduate -2%
Marketing and PR -2%
General Insurance -3%
Temporary Work -3%
Admin -4%
Transport and logistics -4%
Purchasing -5%
Customer Service -5%
Education -5%
Multilingual -6%
Scientific -6%
Charity and Voluntary -7%
Accountancy Qualified -8%
Engineering -8%
Human Resources -10%
Media, Digital and Creative -12%
IT and Telecoms -13%
Accountancy -13%
IT Contractor -18%
Leisure and tourism -27%
Training -32%
Thrilling stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. Lets take a look at some individual sectors.

Me, I'm a manufacturing engineer by training, I get a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy when I spend all day slaving in a factory to make a pallet full of things that can be sold for more money that they cost to build, that's wealth creation in action, you can see it before your very eyes, in manufacturing.

The line on the graph is at its highest point since I started looking. That is the sign of a sector that wants to grow, and has enough confidence in the future, to employ more people rather than increasing working hours. Sure, its only a few hundred jobs, but its a productive sector, it creates wealth.

A similar story for the automotive sector.

That is a sector that is growing. Aye, some of the car manufacturers are having month long shutdowns and three day weeks, but in other quarters of the sector, I guess, car showrooms and service and pokey wee garages, they're taking on more staff, that's what the graph is telling us.

If you know about cars and find yourself unemployed, there's more opportunities now than there has been in months.

Now, where I'm worried is another growing sector.

The political blogs and Westminster centric types will know about Gordon Brown's dividing line between Labour and the Tories where he's portraying the Conservatives as a party of public spending cuts, calling David Cameron Mr 10% after some think-tank crunched Tory spending statements and figured that in order to protect some chunks, like the NHS, then other chunks will face a 10% cut in their budgets.

The media and most politicios seems to accept that there'll have to be cuts in public spending to make up for the huge debts racked up by the government. One way or another there will have to be cuts in state expenditure spending. Budgets will be cut, departments will receive less money next year than last year.

So, here's the graph of job vacancies in the public sector:-

Its growing. There are more vacancies now than at any point since I started looking three months ago. It doesn't look like the graph of a sector that realises there's going to be less money to pay people with in the future.

Anyhoo, what do I know.

That's it for this week. Good luck with the job hunting.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Lies lies lies

Can't be bothered writing a proper blogposty thing today so here, the Gordon Brown Liar video that's been doing the rounds.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Movie Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I've got to say about an hour into the film, I thought it had jumped the shark a bit, the plot was either non-existant or all over the place, the editing and cutscenes were a bit pants and it seemed like they were taking the piss.

I started noticing characterisation I'd never paid much attention to before. The way Optimus Prime is so American, a big vengeful 21st century Old Testament American. He really likes mercilessly killing Decepticons. The start of the film has the Autobots and American military working together hunting down and slaughtering Decepticons, and whilst usually I don't shed many tears for them, I did think the way he executed Demolisher was a bit harsh, and when Sideways was sliced in half by Sideswipe, before he'd even had a chance to transform, I found my self hypothetically tugging at my pappy's jumper "Daddy, why's the little robot killing the big robot?"

"Just because they're Decepticons," seems a bit fascist.

Demolisher was just running scared, being hunted down like some ethnic minority and a 20th century socialist country. He's a big guy and being pushed to the edge. Sure he's a decepticon, but Jetfire, he was a decepticon too, but he switched sides and was redeemed. Why wasn't this option presented to Demolisher?

Cos he was guily? Cos he was a murderer?

Prove it, I saw no trial. Just self-righteous old Optimus Prime being judge judy and executioner.

And who made Optimus Prime leader of the autobots? No election, no democracy on cybertron. In fact, with all that business of the seven Primes, it seems like he's leader by some kind of theocratic hereditry. And America lets this guy rampage across the world ruthlessly slaughtering his opponents?

Lets be clear here, is being a Decepticon a political or racial thing?

Anyhoo, Transformers has been going as a franchise for the best part of twenty five years, so that's about an eightieth of the duration of Christianisty or half as long as Scientology. The concept of Transformers, robots in disguise, more than meets the eye will go on and on into the future. One slightly overlong, philosophically uncomfortable movie isn't going to affect things much, besides, towards the end of Revenge of the Fallen, the robots do look pretty cool and you've accepted the quirks.

Now in real life, a lot of the Transformers thing won't work. In the first film they said that all mod cons, like computers and microwaves and so on were just reverse engineered from Transformers artifacts and the AllSpark cube thing. Reverse engineering is really difficult, and claiming such a thing is a bit of a disservice to the thousands of engineers and imagineers who've slaved away for centuries to invent, by themselves, computers microwaves and the iPhone.

What real life has to offer by way of Transformers-style things include:-

Automous Nano Class Sumo-bots

Transformering radio controlled cars

Swarming robots

Automous collaborative modular robots

Giant Robots

We've got a long way to go before there's a live action Transformers movie, but give it time. Transformers have set the imaginations of a generation bubbling for a generation.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Names of the dead - Iran election protests

Wikipedia is a bit vague about how many people have been killed in the protests in Iran,
28 confirmed and 150 unconfirmed from June 20 protests
By my reckoning the deaths occurred as follows
Sunday June 14
5 students killed (The Guardian)
- Fatemeh Barati
- Kasra Sharafi
- Mobina Ehterami
- Kambiz Shoaee (Sho'a'i / Shojaii)
- Mohsen Imani
Tuesday June 16
8 protesters killed (youtube) (CNN reports 19 deaths)
Thursday Jun 18
1 student
- Mustafa Ghanian (source)
Friday June 19
10 people died (BBC)
Saturday June 20
1 young woman
- Neda Soltani (Agha-Soltan) (wikipedia)
1 twelve year old boy (source)
1 student shot in the head
- Kaveh Alipour (Wall Street Journal)
So aye, in the the fog of the internet and censorship and the mob, its difficult to keep track and be certain of how many people have been killed. But it shouldn't be so. These people were living breathing people, with friends and family, to know whether they are alive or not isn't a vague thing.

UPDATE 24-Jun-2009

Literary Career

My career as a novelist is a long way behind me (well, more accurately its at the bottom of the page here), its been donkeys years since I could come up with even a self-judged compelling piece of fiction. My imagination has been crushed by the other sides of my personality.

When I was a teenager I used to write and write and write. All of it tosh of course, but still I enjoyed writing, now I just can't.

The last compelling idea thing I came up with was to be a murder detective story set in Iraq at the time of the last American invasion, the hook being that that even in times of war when life is cheap and human rights are dogged, murder is still murder. Some young woman is shot and killed and a hard-nosed, slightly over-weight Iraqi detective tries his damnedest to bring the killer to justice.

Ever step along the way witnesses are killed during the invasion, evidence bombed, and at the same time the detective manages to get closer to the killer. Some kind of crime of passion, the woman was having an affair or some porterty deal or business conspiracy gone wrong. And even when the detective's police station is destroyed and the rest of law and order has fallen away, he still stays on the trail.

Until the final scene when political/war events overrun the story and the detective is killed, and the original killer never found.

It was to be a poignant story, you see everything slowly falling apart, but the detective's instinctive belief in natural justice the only thing he has to hang on to, and even that it's not enough.

I'd get Hal Hartley to direct the film version.

Anyhoo, I'll never get round to writing that book, but what made me think of it is the young lady shot in the protests in Iran, Neda Soltani.
At 19:05 June 20th Place: Karegar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."


Controversial poll

Eep, my minds a boggling and I have lots of things I want to blog about.

Firstly a poll:-

No reason, just asking

Friday, 19 June 2009

Still early doors

Back in the early days of Last.fm, it was easy to game the system, you could rename MP3s and they'd show up on the track lists for bands, you could leave your puter playing the same artist overnight and you'd be the biggest fan in the morning. I remember Belle and Sebastian's most popular tune being a Plimptons cover.

They soon tightened up their software, and the sheer weight of people signed up meant there was always a bigger and more legit fan out there in the ether, someone who listened to the artist more without and skulduggery.

But its still early days on Songkick, and for a few of the bands I've seen, I'm the person who's seen then more times than anyone else in the world on Songkick, I'm the biggest fan. Not you, not some guy from the forum, just me.

Its not going to last forever, I can think of dozens of people who've seen my favourite acts more often than I have, but they're not signed up yet. So I'm the biggest fan.

These are acts that I've seen more often than anyone else on Songkick:-

The Plimptons - 50 times
MJ Hibbett and/or The Validators - 22 times
Pocketbooks - 13 times (surpassed by Trev OddBox -Jun-2009)
Pete Green - 10 times (surpassed by Trev OddBox -Jun-2009)
Belle and Sebastian - 8 times (surpassed by Katrina75 -Jun-2009)
Flyer - 8 times
The Hector Collectors - 8 times
The School - 8 times
Camera Obscura - 7 times
Idlewild - 7 times
The Just Joans - 7 times
The Stars of Aviation - 7 times
The Gresham Flyers - 7 times
The Give It Ups - 5 times

This won't last long.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The lost shows

Still logging gigs into songkick, but I think I'm getting to the bottom of it now. There's just a couple of shows I remember, but can't find any trace of their dates online...
  • Plimptons, My Tiny Robots - Teviot Underground, Edinburgh
  • Superstar - The Attic, Edinburgh
  • The Plimpton's Symposium of Pomp - Tchai Ovna, Glasgow (which ones did I go to?)
  • Bozilla eotmc - 13th Note, Glasgow (which ones did I go to?)
  • Pumpkin Nuts - Fat Boabs, Glasgow
  • Pumpkin Nuts - The Arena, Glasgow
  • Hate Brigade - Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow
  • Hate brigade - The Box, Glasgow
  • The AMs - The Box, Glasgow
  • The Only Ones - Garage, Glasgow
  • Fishbone - Garage, Glasgow
  • Fountains of Wayne - Garage, Glasgow
  • Snuff - Garage, Glasgow
  • Bloodhound Gang - Garage, Glasgow
  • Kasino/quiz - 13th Note, Glasgow
  • Plimptons - rasmd, Glasgow
  • Poppadoms - 13th note, Glasgow
  • Akira, The Chicks - Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow
  • My Vitriol - QMU, Glasgow
  • Any Owsley Sunshine gigs - Glasgow
  • St. Jude's Infirmary - The Winchester Club, The Woodside Social Club, Glasgow
  • Bricolage - The Winchester Club, The Woodside Social Club, Glasgow
  • No Way Sis - Hull University, Hull
  • Hector Collectors, The Smiths - Manchester
  • Arrested Development - King Tuts, Glasgow
  • Kings of Leon - Viper Room, Los Angeles
  • ??? - The Gig, Los Angeles
  • The Tough Alliance - Classic Grand, Glasgow
  • ... And you will know by the trail of dead - King Tuts, Glasgow
  • same night as London Popfest - Last Days of Decadance, London
Any help on dates greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Chain Rxn on Facebook - scores and graphs

You will, by now, have become briefly addicted to ChainRxn, its a neat wee game on Facebook. My high Score is just over 25,000,000, after 30 or so games.

This is the highest score in my monkeysphere, but well below the highscores for all of Facebook, this stands at around 99,000,000.

The game is a bit of a chaotic system, this you know, you've got a rectangular playing field with coloured balls slowly bouncing diagonally around, these balls explode when they come into contact with an explosion, you have to place the first explosion. There are twelve levels each one with more balls the the last, and each one requiring a higher number of balls to be destroyed to proceed.

You can have as many attempts at each level as possible. Its an easy and relaxing game.

The levels increment as follows:-
Level 1 - Get 1 out of 5 balls
Level 2 - Get 2 out of 10 balls
Level 3 - Get 4 out of 15 balls
Level 4 - Get 6 out of 20 balls
Level 5 - Get 10 out of 25 balls
Level 6 - Get 15 out of 30 balls
Level 7 - Get 18 out of 35 balls
Level 8 - Get 22 out of 40 balls
Level 9 - Get 30 out of 45 balls
Level 10 - Get 37 out of 50 balls
Level 11 - Get 48 out of 55 balls
Level 12 - Get 54 out of 60 balls
You get points for each ball's explosion. The longer the chain reaction of explosions the more points for each ball. The points increment like this:-

So, what's the secret of getting a really high score?

Well, simply, its to keep playing.

I reckon the system is so chaotic, that its not worth figuring out the best time and place to put down your first explosion, just click randomly. You'll be fine.

For my first thirty or so games I kept a note of how many points I got for each level, so I can make up this neat wee graph:-

And this neat wee table:-


Those numbers at the bottom represent the highest and lowest possible scores I could get if I was lucky enough to get the lowest or highest score for each level.

In order to get a high score of 99,000,000, I reckon you have to just max out the scores for the last six levels. The first six levels are too small to get any decent chain reactions going, so its all about the last levels, and then its pretty much all about luck.

Sure, in theory you could get each ball to blow in order and get some score in the billions, but its not likely, and judging by the cluster of high scores around the 99,000,000 mark, its really unlikely. That number sounds like people getting 20 million for each of the last couple levels.

You gotta avoid 'clumping', and try to aim for long 'lines'. Don't aim that first explosion at clusters of balls cos you just lose a load of ball for 100 or 800 points each. Instead aim for empty spaces near the corners on just one ball's trajectory, sure it'll take a couple of attempts to complete the level, but it'll be a more highly scoring run. In the corners balls only come from one direction, so there's fewer balls, rather than in the middle where they come from all directions and 'clump' a lot more.

You gotta build up the chain reaction as efficiently as possible, losing as few balls as you can until the scoring for each explosion starts getting usefully into the tens and hundreds of thousands, aye.

If you only need to get 20 million to beat all your friends, then sure, play until the last level. If you want to top the high score table for all of Facebook, start again if you haven't got more than 20 million by Level 10.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Blogger Rights

Today an award winning blogger who blogged anonymously, had his identity outed by The Times newspaper and subsequently faced disciplinary action at his place of work.

Many quarters of the 'blogosphere' are, quite rightly, up in arms about this (
here, here, here, here and here. There are rants about blogger's rights to privacy/anonymity. I've written about my dislike of rights previously, I don't think this case is about rights though, its more a case of bad judgement by The Times. Their paper circulation, like most newspapers, has been falling, their website probably used to get a lot of traffic from blogs.

But now the blogosphere knows which way The Times's bread is buttered, and that they are not to be trusted.

You can't stop progress, you can only slow it a bit, and in time The Times with wither and fall.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Early doors

God knows how many people have signed up to Songkick so far, but it my sort of website, a great big user-generated (kind of) database of gigs. Its only been going for a week, so its safe to assume that the people on it right now are enthusiastic early adopter types.

I've been browsing, and by my reckoning the top ten most prolific gig-goers are thus:-

Total gigs
Total bands

I guess 'raysgigs' is one Ray Morrissey, the BBC covered him a few months back.

If you think anything like me, you'll be wanting to know what the average sort of multiple of gigs to bands is. For the most prolific of the gig going people on Songkick, they've seen about one and a half times as many bands as gigs they've been to. More precisely 153 different bands for every 100 gigs. Sure, that's on average, but what does the spread look like?

For the limited data available, its pretty much a bell curve. I reckon the outliers are folk who have either seen the same bands far more often than is healthy (who goes to see The Automatic 76 times?), or folk who go to lots of festivals and not many individual gigs.

What about those folk who just see the same bands over and over again? Well for me, about 5% of the gigs I've been to in my life are for the same act, no prizes for guessing who, but how does that compare to the other enthusiastic early adopty gig-going folk on songkick? Well, its about the same. Joe Normal me.

But what's the spread like?
Just like that.

I think in very real terms the outliers here are what's general known as 'hipsters', whilst the folk in the main <5% spike, they're scenesters.

This finally, in graphical form, displays the difference between the two types of gig-goers.

Found photos

I'm still populating my gigography on Songkick, determined to break an average of two gigs a month. At the moment I'm on about 1.8 or 344 over a 14 year period.

They've already automatically ported over all the gigs I'd said I'd gone to on Last.fm, and now I'm trying to fill in the gaps.

Half-remembered shows from bands during dry spells in Glasgow. Trying my damnedest to find the exact date and venue. Was I there? At that gig? or just a similar one a month later?

Some famous people and me!
Originally uploaded by tomory
Luckily in some obscure corners there's incontrovertible evidence I was there then. Like this photo for example which I just discovered on some random chap's flickr account, neatly labelled by Paul Pahtotheworld.

If you look real hard you can find Gerry from Teenage Fanclub, Eugene Kelly and Stephen Pastel in the back of the shot. That's Pat Nevin on my right basking in the glory of his DJ set.


view profile

pahtotheworld says:

that's Chris Gilmour behind your shoulder
Posted 32 months ago. ( permalink )

Those were the days,
Was there then.

Been doing it for years

BBC reports on a new internet service from Virgin...
For a monthly fee, Virgin's broadband customers will be able to download or stream as many MP3 files as they want.
Hasn't everyone been doing that for years anyway?

The bringer of chaos

There's a wee story on the BBC about reinstating lost rail lines
Train operators are calling for widespread expansion of the existing rail network, with 14 extra lines and about 40 new stations proposed.
Sounds nice, the UK is long overdue in rolling back Beeching's cuts.

What really caught my eye was a quote from Bob Crow.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said: "RMT has repeatedly called for an expansion of rail services to create green jobs and green transport options as part of our campaign for a people's railways.

"However, any expansion should be publicly-owned and free from the chaos and profiteering of the privatised franchise system."
Its a bit rich considering the chaos and profiteering Bob Crow caused last week with the RMT Union London Underground strike which held the capital to ransom for a 5% pay increase in the middle of a recession. That's the sort of thing that happens far more often in the public sector than in the private sector.

So, whatever Bob Crow says, the opposite is true.

And finally... a Wii

I fucking hate Wii's.

I was going to give them the benefit of the doubt, but after a weekend of playing on one, I fucking hate them so much.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

So a year ago, I had this spectacularly successful porn blog, 'Naked Chicks on Post-It Notes', and I had a job which gave a regular source of income and the old Bowlie chatroom was still in operation in the evening. When I asked around about what games console I should spend my earnings on, I was urged to purchase a Wii.

Whole-heartedly urged, by Rosie Rabbit in Bowlie, and the great mob of voters in a poll on the Naked Chicks site, they all urged me to get a Wii over a PS3 or XBox 360.

And no after a weekend playing Rayman Raving Rabbids and Sonic/Mario Olympics on my own, I have to say, loudly and with certainly, I fucking hate the Nintendo Wii.

Its the most frustrating and tedious games console I've ever played in my entire gaming career, it is not fun.

All who recommend such things to me, don't know me at all, or have very poor judgement and depth of perception.

From this moment on, I shall never play a Wii of my own volition.

Sure if I find myself in a room with people playing on a Wii, and having fun, and one turns to me and asks if I fancy a go, I shall shrug and say "m'okay", but other than in circumstances of that ilk, I shall refrain.

And if anyone ever asks my opinion of Wii's I shall start swearing.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Fucking hate GAME shops so much it hurts

How can I express my anger and frustration with GAME in a constructive manner? They're a bunch of shitting cock nipples, the lot of them, and I strongly feel they ought to go out of business as soon as possible.

In bullet-pointed form here are my main issues
  • No cheap X-Box360's in stock despite boxes on shelves
  • Tried to sell us one that was £60 more expensive
  • Sold us a Wii with party games and only one controller
We are people of limited funds, so price is an incredibly important issue when it comes to purchase decisions, so the cheapest XBox360 was £119.99 compared to £149.99 for the cheapest Wii.

Also the XBox games were better, they had Beautiful Katamari, and Portal and Project Gotham Racing all going cheap. Extra controllers were only £8. It too ages but eventually we decided on our purchases and approached the pay counter.

The woman scanned barcodes and scurried off to an unseen storeroom and we waited. About ten minutes later the other sales chap took a phonecall from to back and told us that they didn't have any cheap preowned XBox 360s left in stock, but they could sell us one of the more expensive ones.

Sixty quid more expensive. 50% more than the one we'd chosen.

At this point I started seeing red and in my imaginary dreamworld went batshit crazy and razed the entire shop to the ground.

On a similar note, elsewhere on the internet we find out that the newly elected mayor of Doncaster will be unable to cut funding for the town's Gay Pride parade and unable to axe the council propaganda rag, and unable to cut translation services. The chap may be a fuckwit, but he did win the election the constituents presumable chose him because they agree with his manifesto. The electorate looked at the very specific items on his manifesto and the vague platitudes on his rivals and decided that he was the candidate for him. Regardless of the inner workings of the council and the services currenly offered, the people spoke, and they chose him. But alas, their vote is in vain.

So instead we emerged from the GAME shop twenty minutes later, having been sold a cheap Wii.

They'd sold us the basic package, which was another mistake on their part becuase there's only one controller, only one person playing at a time. Which might be okay for some games, and some games consoles, but for the Wii, with Rayman Raving Rabbids and Sonic/Mario Olympics, its a fucking disaster.

They're party games, specifically designed to be played with your friends, with more than one person playing at a time. Games which you are racing and competing against the other players. Except if there's no one else playing because you've only been sold one controller, you find yourself stood in the middle of the room on your own, trying to get the character on screen to win a sack-race on his own, throwing your arms in the air trying to get the character to jump at the right time.

Those fucking cunts at GAME must have been laughing their asses off when we left. Those absolute bastards. Vermin of the video game selling community. If there was some kind of fascist organisation dedicated to exterminating people who work in video game shops who sell shit games and console bundles to the unsuspecting public, I would wear the uniform and jackboots and join that organsation and vote for them in the European Election.

Friday, 12 June 2009

My Gigography on Songkick

Aw man, I'm having great fun adding my gigography to SongKick.com

Songkick is this newish social sharingy database of gigs. According to their About Us Page, they've got around a million gigs on the database, so I looked up a few of my favourite gigs and found I was going to have to add them myself.

So far I've logged in 240 gigs in the last fourteen years, by a weird quirk of fate its been exactly fourteen years today since my first gig, Cast with The Longpigs at the Boardwalk in Manchester.

It averages out to about one and a half gigs per month, but I've still got loads more to add.

I think my gig life broadly falls into four epoques
  • Manchester schooldays (1995-1997 - 27 gigs)
  • Glasgow Unidays (1997-2001 - 83 gigs)
  • Glasgow Working (2001-2004 - 53 gigs)
  • Glasgow Managing (2004-2007 - 14 gigs)
  • London (2007-present - 71 gigs)
Where that Glasgow Managing is where its bands like The Plimptons and The Deep Fried Wolfknuckles. It looks like I still need to add shows from the last while in Glasgow, but it's going to be difficult, most of the 13th Note and Nice n Sleazy shows didn't have tickets and I'd see the same bands playing again and again, so its hard to be sure.

As it stands right now, my top venues for gigs are as follows
which suggests I need to add more 13th Note shows, I was there almost ever week for months on end, The Cottiers Theatre and Sleazys and Stereo too.

And my top bands are
  • MJ Hibbett - 11 gigs
  • Belle and Sebastian - 8 gigs
  • Pocketbooks - 8 gigs
  • Idlewild - 7 gigs
  • The School - 6 gigs
  • Camera Obscura - 5 gigs
  • Darren Hayman - 5 gigs
Somewhat Lacking is evidence of Plimptons shows, am I scared of putting them all on? And The Just Joans, and Owsley Sunshine and Gresham Flyers and aw man, I've missed so much already.

So yeah, Songkick is my new favourite website

Right against right

Graham Badman's 'Review of Elective Home Education in England' is out and its causing a bit of a storm amongst some quarters of the internet, and this is a good thing, cos we need an honestdebate and a seriousdebate about the nature of Rights.

In a nutshell, in general Home Education provides better level of education than the state system, but it isn't regulated by state so 'they' are claiming it could hide child abuse so 'they' have to stop that sort of thing.

There are fundamental rights that have been enshrined somewhere in our rules and regulations, god knows where, but they're broadly understood and accepted by most.

It is my contention is that human rights are broadly a bad thing to enshrine.

They're good to have as guidelines at the back of your mind, but once you enshrine them, you have to prioritise them, and then apply and enforce them in some sort of order which will inevitable be contradictory.

The two Rights in question in the Home Education issue is the right to an education and the right to privacy.

Education costs money, in order to enforce the right to an education the state takes our earnings by force in taxes and sprays it around Local Education Authorities and rules that children must go to school.

However, some humans, being quite adaptable as a species are able to educate their own kids without needing to send them to school, at home, behind closed doors, this is Home Education, and its broadly successful.

So, in your opinion, dear blog reader, can the state kick down front doors to check on the kids?

Does the right to an education trump the right to privacy?

There's no statistical evidence that shows home educated kids are abused more than school educated kids. No one is denying that there is a possibility that kids outside the state education system, and invisible to the childrenish authorities could be abused, there's just no evidence of it.

Does the right to an education trump the right to privacy?

You gotta chose which right takes priority before you kick down the doors.

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer the right to be left alone.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Job vacancies update - 11-Jun-2009

Your regular amateur analysis of the UK's job vacancies scene from ground-breaking attack blog illandancient.
Total vacancies in the UK 400,887
Down 0.40% from last week
Up 1.36% from last month
Down -7.54% from last quarter
Here's your regular graph showing how many job vacancies are listed on reed.co.uk and the Job Centre Plus. A wee caveat about the JCP is that the total jobs listed on their site is updated in real time, so it varies depending on the time of day, contrast this with Reed who update their total daily.

Based on Gordon Brown saying there was 500,000 job vacancies in PMQs back in February, we can look at how the number of vacancies on the job sites have varied and we extrapolate it up to a total figure for vacancies in the UK.

We're on about the same level as last week, which is a little promising, its not getting worse and if you're optimistic you could say that the green shoots of a happier job vacancies scene are still doing whatever it is green shoots do.

Anyhoo, looking now at the breakdown of sectors on reed.co.uk, which ones have grown and shrunk compared to last month:-
Motoring and Automotive 16%
Social Care 14%
Retail 14%
Manufacturing 14%
Strategy and consultancy 13%
Legal 9%
Purchasing 9%
Banking 9%
Actuarial 9%
Public Sector 8%
Hospitality 8%
Health 7%
Education 6%
Human Resources 5%
Sales 5%
Graduate 5%
Financial Services 5%
Recruitment Consultancy 4%
Temporary Work 4%
Admin 3%
Management 2%
Transport and logistics 2%
IT Contractor 2%
Leisure and tourism 2%
Accountancy Qualified 2%
Construction and Property 0%
Customer Service 0%
Multilingual 0%
General Insurance -1%
Charity and Voluntary -1%
Marketing and PR -1%
Engineering -2%
IT and Telecoms -4%
Media, Digital and Creative -4%
Accountancy -4%
Scientific -5%
FMCG -10%
Training -25%
Some of those categories are all over the place, one day there's hundreds of vacancies, a week later there's not so many and a week later there's hundreds more. Take Graduate jobs for instance:-

Sure its up 5% from a month ago, but compared to three months back, its a sector that shits dead rats. Well, its just a seasonal thing innit, anyone who was going to be taking graduates was hoovering them up three months ago, and no, its just background radiation.

Its a similar story with Management and Accountancy jobs

The number of vacancies decreased steadily until some point in the middle of April, and then levelled out. Is that the effect that The Budget has on the job market? Some kind of stability? Probably.

Anyhoo, that's it for this week. Good luck with the job hunting.


As you know, I'm not really into politics and all Westminstery shenanigans, but I read this here post on OpenEurope, and I was a little struck by this quoth from recently resigned MP Ian Gibson:-
"There will be atime for a referendum but there has not been a seriousdebate (sic) where all sides of the argument are put It reqires an honestdebate (sic) based on facts I believe it is an issue which will be seriouslydebated (sic) in the next few years"
The lack of spaces in the words 'seriousdebate' and 'honestdebate' suggests either a historic keyboard coffee spill or some ill-typed Word find/replace action.

Now, Mr Gibson isn't clear as to whether he means the aforementioned seriousdebates and honestdebates taking place in the House of Commons or the UK as a whole (media/pubs/tube to work in the morning), but for the sake of falsifyability, what does an 'honestdebate' or a 'seriousdebate' actually look like? How will we know if one is happening?

Have there been 'honestdebates' or 'seriousdebates' in the past that we can look at as an example?

Or is it always (in recent memory) just partisan posturing and hectoring, with no persuasion or changes of opinion as more information bubbles to the surface, where a vote at the end is won or lost as a result of force of numbers in each party rather than by the debate?

Or is the concept of a 'honestdebates' and 'seriousdebates' just a meaningless platitude to conceal the true activities that goes on in politics?

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A month passes

Its been around a month since I posted my stolen list of Libertarian Bloggers (ranked by technorati reactions), and, still being unemployed, I have lots of time on my hands, so here it is again, updated with the latest numbers from Technorati, and how the various blogs have increased in popularity or decreased so.

1. Guido Fawke's Blog (6523 reactions link) (-)
2. Samizdata (2743 reactions link) (-)
3. Burning Our Money (1938 reactions link) (up 1)
4. Devils Kitchen (1838 reactions link) (down 1)
5. Daniel Hannan (1686 reactions link) (-)
6. UK Bubble (1211 reactions link) (up 1)
7. The Adam Smith Institute (1203 reactions link) (down 1)
8. Old Holborn (1162 reactions link) (-)
9. Craig Murray (1028 reactions link) (-)
10. Mr Eugenides (977 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
11. PJC Journal (748 reactions link) (up 1)
12. Obnoxio The Clown (732 reactions link) (up 1)
13. An Englishman's Castle (670 reactions link) (down3)
14. Tim Worstall (633 reactions link) (down 3)
15. Mark Wadsworth (595 reactions link) (down 1)
16. UK Libertarian Party (497 reactions link) (-)
17. Capitalists@Work (454 reactions link) (down 2)
18. Ambush Predator (382 reactions link) (-)
19. Bishop Hill (358 reactions link) (down 2)
20. Douglas Carswell (349 reactions link) (up 3)
21. Looking for a voice (316 reactions link) (up 1)
22. Little Man What Now (316 reactions link) (down 1)
23. Heresy Corner (311 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
24. Nanny Knows Best (285 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
25. The Landed Underclass (276 reactions link) (up 1)
26. The Last Ditch (266 reactions link) (down 6)
27. Underdogs Bite Upwards (265 reactions link) (down 2)
28. Libertarian Alliance: Blog (253 reactions link) (down 9)
29. Freeborn John (245 reactions link) (down 5)
30. A Very British Dude (235 reactions link) (down 3)
31. Is there more to life than shoes (220 reactions link) (new entry)
32. IEA blog (214 reactions link) (down 1)
33. Free market fairy tales (212 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
34. Longrider (210 reactions link) (down 6)
35. Brian Micklethwait (170 reactions link) (down 5)
36. The Appalling Strangeness (166 reactions link) (down 4)
37. The Huntsman (156 reactions link) (down 8)
38. Cynical Chatter (156 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
39. Counting Cats in Zanzibar (156 reactions link) (down 6)
40. Henry North London (150 reactions link) (down 5)
41. UK Liberty (132 reactions link) (down 7)
42. CharlesCrawford.biz (127 reactions link) (down 6)
43. Freedom and Whisky (109 reactions link) (down 6)
44. Curious Snippets (108 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
45. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle (100 reactions link) (down 6)
46. Charlotte Gore (94 reactions link) (up 4)
47. Taking Liberties (91 reactions link) (down 7)
48. Dick Puddlecote (82 reactions link) (down 3)
49. Sinclairs Musings (81 reactions link) (down 11)
50. The Welfare State We're In (77 reactions link) (down 8)
51. Liberty Alone (74 reactions link) (down 7)
52. Neuearbeit Macht Frei (69 reactions link) (down 6)
53. Blognor Regis (62 reactions link) (down 10)
54. Womble on Tour (60 reactions link) (down 7)
55. Anti-Citizen One (57 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
56. John Trenchard (55 reactions link) (down 15)
57. From the Barrel of a Gun (48 reactions link) (down 9)
58. Anna Raccoon (46 reactions link) (down 6)
59=. Shades of Grey (42 reactions link) (down 11)
59=. Resistance is Useless (42 reactions link) (down 8)
61. Mark's Any Musings (41 reactions link) (down 5)
62=. ill and ancient (31 reactions link) (down 8)
62=. Their Contempt for you is Total (31 reactions link) (down 9)
62=. Natalie Solent (31 reactions link) (down 11)
65. Oxford Libertarian Society (28 reactions link) (down 11)
66=. Musings on Liberty (22 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
66=. Robs Blog (22 reactions link) (down 11)
68=. CrozierVision (20 reactions link) (down 12)
68=. Transport Blog (20 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
70. Caligula's Palace (19 reactions link) (down 3)
71. Bella Gerens (18 reactions link) (down 7)
71=. Englands Freedom (18 reactions link) (down 10)
71=. RenegadeParent.net (18 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
74=. Big Brother Britain (17 reactions link) (down 14)
74=. Edinburgh Sucks (17 reactions link) (down 11)
74=. Medworth (17 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
74=. Boateng & Demetriou (17 reactions link) (down 5)
78=. Woking Libertarians (14 reactions link) (down 20)
78=. Public Interest (14 reactions link) (down 15)
78=. AngloAustria (14 reactions link) (down 17)
78=. Constantly Furious (14 reactions link) (up 11)
78=. A neo-jacobin (14 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
83. Voyage of Discovery (13 reactions link) (down 17)
84=. No Borders South Wales (12 reactions link) (down 16)
84=. South West Libertarians (12 reactions link) (down 16)
86=. The One that really is most unhappy about this (11 reactions link) (down 19)
86=. Libertarian Party South East (11 reactions link) (down 16)
88. Ferraris for all (10 reactions link) (down 19)
89. Anomaly UK (9 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
90. Picking Losers (8 reactions link) (down 19)
91=. Panem et Circenses (7 reactions link) (down 18)
91=. Scottish Libertarians (7 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
91=. Paul Lockett (7 reactions link) (down 17)
94. Craggy Island (6 reactions link) (down 23)
95=. Everything I say is right (6 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
95=. Katabasis (6 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
97=. Jerub-Baal's Spleen Vent (5 reactions link) (down 22)
97=. The Pub Curmudgeon (5 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
97=. Towards Mutual Benefit (5 reactions link) (down 19)
100=. A Brief Encounter (4 reactions link) (down 26)
100=. A Libertarian's Perspective (4 reactions link) (down 26)
100=. Mara's Una Musings (4 reactions link) (down 22)
100=. Marmelade Sandwich (4 reactions link) (down 22)
100=. RantinRab (4 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
105=. Life, Liberty and Proper Tea (3 reactions link) (down 27)
105=. North West Libertarians (3 reactions link) (down 27)
105=. Nough.point.zero (3 reactions link) (down 27)
105=. The Idle Pen Pusher (3 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
109=. Disobeying the Whip (1 reactions link) (down 24)
109=. Freedom2Choose (1 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
109=. North East Libertarians (1 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
109=. The Liberty Column (1 reactions link) (down 24)
109=. The North Briton (1 reactions link) (down 24)
109=. The progressive show (1 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
109=. This Observer (1 reactions link) (down 20)
116=. Captain: Ranty (0 reactions link) (new entry on this list)
116=. Obsidian's World (0 reactions link) (down 27)
116=. Think This (0 reactions link) (down 27)

Once again, pangs of anxiety about whether I should be doing this at all, we're all supposed to be on the same side, not fighting dogs pitted against each other.

And aw man, there's thirty, maybe more, 'new entries' compared to last month, more like blogs I didn't know about, and so int he great scheme of things most of the blogs of the list have fallen quite a few positions in the ranking, its so despiriting. Charlotte Gore almost doubled her number of technorati reactions and only went up four places. I thought, maybe if I only put in the changes for new entries and for those who've gone up, it would be less despiriting, but nah, I'll put it all in to be controversial and have folk moaning.

Actually, to save you hunting through the whole list, the rising stars are:-
Constantly Furious (14 reactions link) (up 11)
Charlotte Gore (94 reactions link) (up 4)
Douglas Carswell (349 reactions link) (up 3)
Burning Our Money (1938 reactions link) (up 1)
UK Bubble (1211 reactions link) (up 1)
PJC Journal (748 reactions link) (up 1)
Obnoxio The Clown (732 reactions link) (up 1)
Looking for a voice (316 reactions link) (up 1)
The Landed Underclass (276 reactions link) (up 1)
And 'new entries' that weren't on the list a month ago are:-
Mr Eugenides
Heresy Corner
Nanny Knows Best
Is there more to life than shoes
Free market fairy tales
Cynical Chatter
Curious Snippets
Anti-Citizen One
Musings on Liberty
Transport Blog
A neo-jacobin
Anomaly UK
Scottish Libertarians
Everything I say is right
The Pub Curmudgeon
Rab C Nesbitt
The Idle Pen Pusher
North East Libertarians
The progressive show
Captain: Ranty
(its the ability to write lists that sets us apart from the animals, thats what I always say)

If there are any British(ish) Libertarian blogs I've missed, ones which are regularly updated, let me know and I'll add them if I do it again next month.

Ooh, if you're reading this and you have vaguely libertarian tendencies and you happen to live near London, you might be interested in attending a meetup thing details here.